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Rocking back the years, the Rubettes are coming to Stevenage next week

PUBLISHED: 21:49 05 May 2016

The Rubettes are coming to the Gordon Craig Theatre in May. Picture by Stephane De Coster

The Rubettes are coming to the Gordon Craig Theatre in May. Picture by Stephane De Coster

photo: Stephane De Coster

White suits, trademark caps, falsetto harmonies – that’s got to be the Rubettes.

After exploding onto the scene with their memorable debut hit Sugar Baby Love in 1974 they racked up a string of successes in the following years.

The band eventually split, but were lured back onto the live circuit by a French promoter in the 1990s and have been active as a quartet – officially named The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams for contractual reasons – ever since.

Now they’re on their way to Stevenage, and more than 40 years after that breakthrough hit three of the original band – singer/guitarist Alan Williams, bassist Mick Clarke and drummer John Richardson – are still in the line-up, with Steve Innes Etherington joining them on keyboards.

This is their first headline tour of the UK in four decades, although they have appeared on package presentations with fellow 1970s icons The Sweet and Mud.

Alan, who was born just down the road in Welwyn Garden City, said: “Strangely, we have always been a bigger name on the continent, and especially France.

“After the UK tour we have 30 dates there – last year we played the Olympia Theatre in Paris and sold all 3,000 seats.”

But the demand is clearly there in the UK, too.

Alan, now 67, says: “We’ve been talking about it for a few years and in the end I persuaded the rest of the guys to do it while we still can.”

“There’s been a great reaction. At first we were only going to do about 15 dates, but it just grew.

“We’re all pretty fit and quite excited about it, and if it works than we could possibly do more next year.

“We’ll see how it goes as this year we are doing more work than we’ve ever done.”

The show – at the Gordon Craig Theatre next Tuesday from 7.45pm – has an acoustic-based first half followed by album tracks and anecdotes.

But don’t worry, you’ll get all the hits, too. Alan promises: “For the second half we’ll be in the suits and do the hits, plus we’ve all chosen particular favourites.”

To book tickets and find out what else is on the programme, visit www.gordon-craig.co.uk.

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